Azkals seek to end 99-year title drought-A A +A
Friday, September 28, 2012
THE Philippine men's national football team is one match away from reclaiming its long- lost football title in the former Long Teng Cup now known as the Philippine Football Peace Cup at the Rizal Memorial Football Stadium today.
Azkals now lead the standing with six points and would only need to secure a draw against Chinese Taipei to win the four-nation friendly tournament.
However, it will not be an easy giveaway for the host team as they meet their toughest competitor in Chinese Taipei, whom they've never beaten since the 1972 Olympic qualifying.
In the last two years of the Long Teng Cup, a 1-1 draw and a scoreless draw happened in 2010 and 2011, respectively.
But with the recent turn of events, things are looking up for the Azkals, who will play with confidence after a convincing 5-0 mauling of Macau last Thursday and a 1-0 victory against Guam.
Inspired by their back-to-back wins, the team is now in high spirits not to disappoint the home crowd for a double treat—winning against Chinese Taipei and ending a 99-year title drought.
Head coach Michael Weiss asked for a strong turnout from supporters to fill the stadium as they attempt to make this peformance one for the books.
In 2011, Chinese Taipei lost three of its last five matches against Macau. In this tournament, the match between the two teams ended in a 2-2 draw.
For this year, Chinese Taipei only won once and it was against Long Teng Cup two-time champion Hong Kong, who won in their last five meetings.
Chinese Taipei is currently in second place with four points after defeating Guam, 2-0. Guam will meet Macau in the hopes of getting their first win of the tournament.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on September 29, 2012.